The secret to slow jogging and slow rowing is the power-10 and power pieces

Summary: let your slow-flag fly, for sure, when you slow jog and slow row;  however, please feel free to add power-10s and other high-intensity pieces to your slow, long, steady-state everyday slow jogs and slow rows. 

What is a Power 10?

Power-10 is an on-water rowing and racing term that is often said by the coxswain to motivate a competitive coxed crew to perform ten hard power strokes. Starting with “up one, up two” the coxswain counts out each stroke for the crew. I like to sprinkle power-10s into my workouts once I have warmed up. You should, too. Even moderate daily rowing proponent, D. P. Ordway, and slow jogging guru, Hiroaki Tanaka, agree. Once you’ve mastered your slow, adding intensity can really drive the body’s adaptation to your new athletic life. And since both you and I are our very own coxswains and we don’t need to win any races, do everything in moderation, even your power-tens.

The Fitter You Are the Faster Your Slow

Chris Abraham participating in the 2015 Concept2 Holiday ChallengeThe fitter and stronger you get, the faster your slow is. When you just start rowing, your slow rowing steady state pace might be over 3 minutes per 500 meters and your  first slow jogging pace might be 13-minutes or more per-mile; however, as you become more fit and your heart, lungs, and muscles adapt, your slow rowing steady state will be around 2 minutes per 500 meters or even quicker and for a longer time and your easy running pace that you can keep with a smile while you’re slow jogging can be as quick as a 9-, 8-, 7-, and even 6-minutes-per-mile pace.

The End of Slow-Shaming

2016 Four Courts Four Miler produced by Pacers Running. Photo by Brian W. Knight/Swim Bike Run Photo.Whether you’re back of the pack or DFL, at least you’re neither DNF or sleeping in. Both Slow Jogging and Row Daily are about not slow-shaming yourself or allowing yourself to be slow-shamed.

Anyone call you a slow ass? Well, you’re slow jogging! Someone on your virtual team making fun of your 2:50/500m pace?

Chris Abraham's Million Meter Club Concept2

Show them the Million Meter Club certificate that Concept2 gave you! Be proud of your 3:00/500m pace since you do row every day at around that rate for at least 45-minutes!  Be proud of your slow 2 or 3 mile-per-hour slow running because, at that rate, you will probably never need recovery from either over-work or injury.

Slowness is Subjective so Speed Up

2016 Crystal City 5K Fridays, race #1 produced by Pacers Running. Friday, 1 April, 2016. Photo by Brian W. Knight/Swim Bike Run Photo.

While I am not suggesting that you’re slow jogging or slow rowing too slowly. Slow jog as slowly as you like. Row as slowly as you like. But do it every day. At some point, if you do slow jog and slow row every single day, your initial slow will be a lot slower than the slow you attain as you get stronger, fitter, and your cardiovascular system adapt fully to your slow and going a little faster will seem as rigorous as your previous slow. You’re going faster!

Chris Abraham's time for the #cc5kfridays race 4But as long as you’re still smiling and keeping yourself from huffing and puffing and wanting to cut your 45-minute steady state daily morning slow jog or slow row short, you’re good. While both though D. P. Ordway and Hiroaki Tanaka both beg us to jog and row slowly every day longevity, health, fitness, and happiness, they both allow their definition of slowly to be absolutely subjective: Slow jogging can be 2 or 3 miles-per-hour but once you become an old hat at slow jogging and slow rowing, you might slow jog at closer to 4, 5, 6, 7-miles-per-hour! 

Once You Adapt Be a Little Less Slow

2016 Crystal City 5K Fridays, race #1 produced by Pacers Running. Friday, 1 April, 2016. Photo by Brian W. Knight/Swim Bike Run Photo.

But you really don’t have to. Really, all the authors of  Slow Jogging: Lose Weight, Stay Healthy, and Have Fun with Science-Based, Natural Running and Row Daily, Breathe Deeper, Live Better: A Guide to Moderate Exercise say is that slowness is slow-to-you and as you adapt your body, your slow will be less slow than before and that you should really break up your slow jogging and slow rowing with some up-tempo pieces. 

Row hard-for-you for a count of ten after spooling up and then slow back down to your steady state pace after you do your power-10. Or 20 or thirty.

There is a load of other suggestions when it comes up amping up the intensity every once in a while, but I have really been relying on some really strong and intentional power-10s.

The Authors of the Slow Books Agree

Even my two favorite “slow” books, targeted to the elderly, are proponents of the power-10. So, jog slow and row slow but, every once in a while, in order to fight boredom and to keep things interesting, goose the gas a little bit.

Back in the days of the carburetor, I would say that the short bursts of speed I put into my rides in my 1974 Triumph TR-6 were to blow out the carbon

After reading Slow Jogging and Row Daily all the way through, even these books about exercising moderately every day at your niko niko pace (an easy pace, that you can keep with a smile).

If You Gotts Start Somewhere, Start Slowly

When you start reading either book, you’ll feel so relaxed that all you need to do in order to get better breath, fitness, slimness, strength, stamina, and longevity deep through our dotage is to jog or row every single day for the rest of your life—and I think that is right.  

However, if you read through the entire book, there’s more: the power 10.

The first half of both books say just do it: get onto the track or get your butt onto the sliding seat of an indoor rowing machine and spend at least 30-minutes to an hour (45-minutes to an hour is better) every single day of the year short of an injury or profound sickness.

The argument is: if you keep it slow and easy, your muscles, tendons, skeleton, and the nervous system won’t need all that recovery time.

Slow Wins the Race But Sprints are Fun

Their follow-up argument is: once you feel all warmed up and your body again feels powerful enough that you want to frolic a little bit, do so! Some power-tens, some sprinting, running some stairs, doing cross-training, taking the stairs, going to the gym, riding a bike, taking a swim, going to 9Round to get some boxing in, and then going to XSport to get in some heavy iron in the form of free weights. Or, get yourself a nice heavy kettlebell and do some swinging and deadlifts and cleans and presses, and squats and pulls!

Don’t worry, no rush. Do it slowly–but do it every day. That’s my plan.

 

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